Sen. Bill Nelson: This is too important
Letter from Sen. Bill Nelson, sent on Wednesday, January 10, 2018:
On Monday, the Trump administration published in the Federal Register their plan to open up nearly all federal waters to offshore oil drilling - including off the coast of Florida.
But then, one day later, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the people of Florida not to worry - and, despite what the plan says, he's not really going to drill off of Florida's coast.
Well, to me, that's absurd.
If they really aren't planning to drill off of Florida's coast, why does the plan clearly say they are? And if the plan really has suddenly changed, where's the new one?
I have spent my entire life fighting to keep oil rigs away from our coasts and I'm certainly not going to sit back and take some secretary's word that we are suddenly now safe.
So, today, I called on Secretary Zinke to provide us the details of this mysterious new plan - the one he says "takes Florida off the table" for any new drilling - and to make it public so the people of Florida can review it for themselves.
In fact, here's what I said on the Senate floor today: (See this YouTube video)
Drilling off of Florida's coast is a real threat to our state.
So, despite what the secretary said yesterday, I went ahead and filed legislation today that would permanently ban offshore drilling closer to our coast. Because until Florida has the protections that it needs - written, in law - I will not rest. This is just too important for the future of our state.